It didn’t really hit me until I lost my wedding band.
I was getting ready to take a shower one night and I went to remove my wedding ring. It wasn’t there. I quickly scanned through the events of the day in my mind. I had no memory of taking it off and no moment during the day that I could point to when I would have had cause to remove it. It was just gone.
While the loss of the ring made me sad, it was the loss of the memory that really impacted me. It simply was not like me. I may not be a clean freak, but I am organized. I don’t lose things. Even when my organization consists of piles around the house, I know where things are. Or at least I used to.
The day before I lost the ring I spent my son’s nap time searching my house for some important paperwork. These were things that should have been filed or at least placed in a single location. Instead they were strewn about all over the house. I was, eventually, able to locate them all, but not before having a panic attack.
Someone told me this is why moms have planners. They have to write everything down or they will lose track. Moms forget. Moms have lapses in memory the likes of which I had previously only experienced after consuming too much alcohol. I’m a mom now. I have mom brain.
I can’t reconcile this. I knew I had changed physically and emotionally. I didn’t realize that things that I considered a core part of my personality were also changing. They were changing and they are changed now. There’s no going back. I will never again be the woman I was before my son was born. Someday he will start sleeping through the night (right? right?!) and I will be able to get a real night’s sleep myself. Someday he will be more independent. Someday he will go to daycare or kindergarten and I will have time to do things for myself. But the damage, so to speak, is already done.
I have lost the pre-Goose Karin. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade my son for anything. I love the post-Goose Karin too. But she is different. I often struggle to reconcile her with my notions of self. Change is inevitable. We change with every breath. I’m not the same person I was before I married my husband or before dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss. But this shift from not a mom to Mom has shaken me to my core.
I can only do what I have always done. Keep breathing. And perhaps one day even my wedding band will show up again.